They are tempted by my temper, because my exotic flair makes it feel like passion, something fashionable, like in a French magazine, since sweet sixteen, and further back, in the fables of my life that I have forgotten, I was rotten to the core, storming through each day with a smile and my rage.
I dream of diamonds, around my neck and down the throats of all those that I dislike, spoiled brat, Queen of the pampered Princesses, running through benefactors for nefarious purposes, never satisfied by their platinum cards and best wishes.
Last night as I strolled through the shopping centre, I saw a little pair of shoes, painted blue for my little one, feeling so blue because they had tightly tied laces and left a taste in my mouth, without my lips even opening. Ghosts were following me again, the things that money cannot buy will always allude me, they never let me live, living in my bones and setting fire to my soul.
There are geese gliding across the rising sun as I recall last night’s dream, boil a kettle that will never be poured, pouring over my seamless, endless era of madness, because I truly want it all. The streetlights switch off, and I switch on the siren waterworks.
Good morning glum one, it’s a great day to be bounding through life with as much of a smile as you can salvage. The world’s a little savage, and the passage of time is sublimely snappy, when you really don’t need it to be, but you are awake, and you are breathing, and that’s something.
I want to talk to people, to leak onto their fingertips, through dried ink, to be carried around by absent minded hands for the rest of the day, stuck in the back of their mind, or the back of their throat, like a strong flavour or an even stronger memory that hurts so badly to think about.
I spent my childhood obsessing over being remembered, because I didn’t think I’d make it this far into adulthood, and now, I’m aimless and awestruck, wondering how I’ll be remembered when I’m gone, because I have now been here too long.
I was supposed to be something fleeting, short but sweet, the kind of girl who just disappears into dark nights and is never heard from again, the kind of girl who lives in the air and never shares too much of herself. I thought I’d wave goodbye on the beach, blowing a kiss to the setting sun as I waded into my second birth, the water, avid and endless around my legs and my waist as I went to waste in the sea’s sweetness.
I couldn’t do it. Changed plans and cowardice. I spent my whole life, waiting for it to end and then something in me decided to try again, and now I’m waking up, just to look at myself in the mirror and ask my reflection how she’s feeling. She always lies, which is deeply unhelpful, and I fantasise about what I could be now if I had let the water love me as she would have liked.
Is it ever worth it? I always ask, but then I start shouting and screaming before an answer comes, because I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to know.
It is 4am and I need to empty out my head because every time she hits the pillow, she pauses to read aloud another tortured thought, and, of course, that means no sleep, so I have a sly plan, to make a list, leaving it all in the lines, so I can lie down and get lost in rest.
I start thinking about these things because they are easier to think about than the thing I have been avoiding. Perhaps I should stop avoiding it? Perhaps not? Who even knows at this point?
I don’t know if my mother will like the Christmas gift I lovingly, but poorly wrapped for her, even though she picked it out herself. I wonder this, because I don’t know if she likes me. I wouldn’t like me, if I was my daughter. I don’t even like me now.
I don’t like myself, because of the thing I am avoiding. I can talk about it in flowery, flamboyant prose or stunted, sweet stanzas but I can never just say it scientifically.
I am living in a pandemic and I still don’t understand the first thing about science. I feel stupid and I wonder if it’s because I went to a bad school, or because I have a bad brain?
The brain can’t be THAT bad because the brain wrote wonderful things, and the school is just a derelict building now, closed after collapsing under the weight of its own worthlessness (by that, I mean they failed one too many OFSTED inspections).
I hold onto the idea that I am a great writer because I don’t have anything else. I’m not pretty (despite the title of my last record), I’m not a nice person (despite constantly writing myself as one), I’m not funny (despite my life being hilarious from an outside perspective) and all I have is… this. This is my only value to the world. I will never discover the cure for cancer or bring peace to Palestine and Israel. I will never be a good mother. I am not a good friend. I would make a terrible wife. I am not a good person. All I am is a good writer. Not even great, just good, with delusions of grandeur.
I’m 90% sure my landlord is touching my underwear when I’m out of the house. He comes round to do a lot of “maintenance” and always seems to come round when I’m out. He never used to do this when a man lived in this house.
I was in love with my best friend at school but I never told her because I was disgusted by my desire. I used to start fights with her just to try and make her leave but she never did, and every now and again, I delude myself that maybe it was because she was in love with me too, and I cry out of nowhere because I didn’t ever tell her and she used to get so sad about how she wasn’t beautiful, like the other girls, but she was. She fucking was and I never told her. Maybe she’d think I was disgusting, but at least she would know that someone thought she was beautiful.
Maybe she wouldn’t have thought I was disgusting? Maybe she would have felt the same? Maybe if she didn’t feel the same, she would have at least accepted me as I was?NO. We are not doing that tonight.Maybe I should tell her now? I’ve still got her number. We are still friends on Facebook. I could tell her now. I could tell her today. I SAID NO.
My first girlfriend died and all I ever had with her was a few chaste kisses, because we were both too afraid of how passively powerful our vaginas were. I miss her. I miss the sadness in her eyes at the state of us. I miss the promise of more to come, if we ever found the courage. I miss imagining how she’d look if she only looked a little less guilty and sad. I miss the hope. I miss the secrecy.
I am thinking about the thing. Ooops.
I hate when people tell me that I’m “valid” because there is still a big part of myself that sees a monster in the mirror. I see a demon, preyed upon by witches, surrounded by hellfire, with nowhere to go. Born bad but tricked into worse by pretty girls, with their pretty faces and their pretty perversions. I don’t want you to tell me that I’m “valid”, because being “valid” means that I’m marked. “Normal” people don’t get told they are valid. Nobody needs to tell “normal” people that they’re valid. Now that I’m “valid”, I am no longer “normal”, and it all feels very vapid.
Sometimes, I think I want to go back. I want to take it back. I say to myself “You can suffer again!” It could be fun, like the old days. Vintage virtue. Suffering, but in a sentimental way. Breaking down at the sight of a bed because it reminds me of what I have to give away for the safety of a “normal” sexuality. That isn’t “valid”, but it’s all I’ve known for most of my life, and suddenly being “valid” doesn’t keep me safe from my own disapproval. What do you do when the calls of “God hates dykes!” are coming from inside the house?
I no longer desire death. I think that’s an achievement. I suppose I felt like I had already stuck around all this time, I may as well see it through and see what happens.
I know what happens. I spend a few months being adored because I’m “exploring myself” and being “brave” and “valid” but then I get scared. I stumble back into the dark depths of my wardrobe and I hold hands with the ghost of my Angel until I find some dreadful man that I can be sure will cheat on me enough that nobody questions my lack of sex drive. I marry him. I have a child, that will be my one and only reason for living, and I slowly die, finishing off somewhere in my mid forties.
I am going to watch Paddington. I always watch Paddington when I can’t sleep, and the only reason I can’t sleep is because I’m thinking about the thing. Paddington doesn’t think about the thing. Paddington just cares about politeness and marmalade sandwiches, and I marvel at a life like that. Oh, to be a small bear with a fulfilling life.
Girls on dating apps make me feel disgusting. Girls in bars make me feel invisible. I am caged by how unsociable I have always been and how little effort I put into being a “free spirit”. I’m too much of a prude for Tinder. Too much on the brink of alcoholism to be a beautiful barfly. Everyone wants to hook up and I get off on shaming them, because I desperately want “real love”.
I need “real love” before sex because it’s a coping mechanism. I tell myself that if I’m in love with her, it won’t be so wrong. Maybe, it won’t be wrong at all? Part of me thinks that is a lie, but I’m too old to try and rationalise my own lies, and getting older by the second, so I really should get this show on the road, right? I have wasted so much time.
My greatest fear is that I’ve done all this for nothing. I wrote the meaningful monologue about “living my truth”, and everyone clapped, but then everyone dispersed after the discourse. I am not rewarded with a soulmate or even a six month fling that I can spin into the most dramatic of love affairs in my memoirs. What if there isn’t really someone for everyone? What if there are not plenty of fish in the sea, because of climate change or whatever? What if my best chance at not dying alone was dying without dignity, with someone I despised? What if I’ve walked into the sunlight, and now the sun is falling?
It is now 4:15. I am not any less tired, but I will lay here in silence, because there’s nobody to see me cry, nobody to impress, nobody to lie to, nobody to tell the truth to. Just silence, and that is what I need right now. I need silence. I need to shut up.
I have known I was a lesbian since I was about ten, and it scared me to death.
Well, I say that, but it was more that I knew I was interested in women, not men, but didn’t know what that really meant since I was about ten. More on why that was in a second.
I grew up in a very progressive household when I lived with my mother, and that is such a blessing and a privilege, but it didn’t make a difference to how I felt about myself and the fears I had. I’m grateful for it, but they couldn’t save me from the world outside.
At school, “promotion of homosexuality” was banned, so I thought something was wrong with me. My family would try to teach me about other types of families and people, but I was being fed homophobia from a school that had no choice but to teach it to us.
(For more on why my school experience was so bad, and the history of homophobia in Kent from our local government, check out this really good article by Kent Live).
My faith is very important to me too, and I imagine that played a part. My relationship with it has changed as I’ve gotten older and felt confident in questioning what I’m told. I firmly believe God would not hate me for feeling love, but that took a long time to understand.
I will probably never be able to marry in a Catholic Church, despite being more of a Catholic than many straight people who have been allowed to. It’s painful to think about but I’m kind of at peace with it.
As I got older, and particularly when I went to university, I discovered that it wasn’t a sickness and that I wasn’t damned to hell, but it has taken literal years to unlearn that fear and self loathing. I spent years trying to be someone else.
I tried to tell someone at that point, but he took it so badly that I decided never to tell anyone else, until now, and only now, because I can no longer live in a prison that he and I built.
In my mid twenties, I began calling myself bisexual, because it felt a bit safer than telling the truth. Bisexuality is absolutely real and bisexuals are 100% valid, I just wasn’t one of them.
Even after getting over the fear of being sick or damned to hell, I was still afraid of the reality of being a lesbian. I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted a family. I wanted to be a wife. When I became legally old enough to marry in the UK, it was still illegal for me to marry a woman.
And I mean REALLY marry by the way. Civil partnerships are not the same imo. Labour should have pushed equal marriage through and they failed the LGBT community by not doing so. Come at me Tonty Blair.
I became convinced that I’d have to “put up with a man” to get what I wanted. To be a wife, and more importantly, to be a mother (being married is kind of a required step to have kids as a Catholic lmao). Putting up with a man would be worth it to hold my child in my arms.
When I was a teenager, I’d pray every night for it all to go away. I’d stare at boys all day in class and plead with myself to find them attractive. Up until this year, I’d basically force myself into relationships with men to try and make myself like them. It just made me sad.
I would invent reasons to like men. Pretty much anything I’ve ever “found attractive” in a man throughout my life have either been typically feminine traits (a coping mechanism) or made up stuff I’ve projected onto them to find some way to like them.
I am almost thirty years old and I don’t think I have ever truly been in love, because I’ve been masquerading and pretending out of fear or I’ve been in a fleeting connection with a woman that I run away from because I feel like I shouldn’t be with her.
I joke all the time about being emotionally broken but if I’m honest, I really do think that suppressing my real self and bullying myself into the closet over and over out of fear has done legitimate damage to me, and I don’t know what to do about that.
I eventually came out (properly this time) because of two things. One, I was on a date with a man and he literally said to me “I think you’re a lesbian” and I knew the jig was up. Two, I couldn’t face turning thirty and still being desperately unhappy.
I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I don’t want to feel like I’m constantly chased by a shameful secret. I want the people I love to really know me. I want to find someone to build a real life with instead of settling for a sham marriage. I want to really live.
I don’t say any of this so that people will feel sorry for me, by the way, because it’s one of those things where the damage is done (by myself lmao) and I don’t really need validation, I just want people to understand why we can’t allow future generations to do this.
People ask why LGBT inclusive sex and relationships education needs to happen. People like me are why. You have to let kids know that they’ll be okay. Nobody is saying “teach kids about anal at five years old!” but just let them know it’s okay if they grow up to be gay, so they don’t end up like me.